[SASAG] Hardware Life Cycle Rationale

steve at hastingsfamily.com steve at hastingsfamily.com
Mon Oct 29 15:29:27 PDT 2007

Here's another $6.14 worth.

Additionally, I'd add the following thoughts.

1. If your original factory warranty is going to expire, most hardware
vendors offer service contract or service agreements to continue to
support the hardware. You will find that if you had a service agreement to
provide an expected level of support, ie guaranteed onsite hardware parts
or Engineering services within say 4 hours or 1 hour or 24 hours, this
contract will take a significant jump in cost because there is no
underlying factory warranty to cover the parts. Figure on the order of 3
to 4 times what it was is what I have witnessed.

2.The older it gets the price for service agreements just goes up rapidly.
3.If you have not had service agreements in place, trying to get one at
the end of the factory warranty will be prohibitively expensive.
4.Keeping spare hardware around rarely pays off. Keeping spare servers is
usually a better way to go, with tested/documented emergency replacement
plans. 1 spare server may suitably be the backup for several system, which
can buy you time for repair or purchase and if you use clustering or load
balancing even strengthens the arguement. This is a good role for your old
5. Consider the virtual technologies that may or may not be available with
your new hardware.
6. Not only rationalizing your hardware but are those application still
relavant. Folks can be very protective of their stuff. Good luck on that.
7. Analysis of hardware resource utilization, many system use 10-15% of
the resources in day to day activities. Unlike an automobile you actually
can run them with full throttle for long periods of time, as long as it
doesn't impact your users negatively or better said, unacceptably. Do you
analysis of where we are today, and factor in future capacity needs. Often
times the sizing was based on some expectation that was never reached, and
all that capacity can be downsized for very cheap. Example That 8
processor server running Oracle may only really require 2 processors, and
if growth occurs in the future add another node and Oracle RAC.
8. Can you paint virtualization pictures that would be favorable to your

Good Luck,


I don't have any sources, but here are a couple of points to
* Bathtub failure curves
* Unexpected cost of replacing hardware that failed after
warranty expired, vs budgeted cost of replacing hardware on a
schedule. How long will it take to get finance approval for a
new box vs having one cross-shipped under warranty? If it is one
of 100 loadbalanced webservers this isn't as big of a deal, but
if it is 1 of 2 failover database servers it is a much larger
* Cost offset by eBay'ing old hardware (may not apply to your

-Jason Martin

On Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 11:49:56AM -0700, Eric Kahklen wrote:
> In preparation for next years budget, I am pricing out servers to
> replace hardware that will fall out of warranty.  My supervisor asked me
> to pull together some points that support the rationale of replacing
> servers as the warranty expires vs. running hardware out of warranty.
> Has anyone found any resources that touches on this topic?
> Thank you,
> Eric

...put knot yore trust inn spel chequers.
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